COLUMN: Consultants aren’t needed for holiday lights
Two songs seem to fit the July council meeting where Christmas lights were discussed; Black Day in July by Gordon Lightfoot and I Just Go Nuts at Christmas by Yogi Yorgesson.
Things heated up when the suggestion was made to stop putting up new lights and hire a consultant to come up with a Christmas lighting downtown plan.
It seems to me that there is a lot of concern over a minor issue.
The downtown core including Baker Street has had a number to attempts over the years to do something uniform. It is easy to notice that at one point there was a desire to have uniform covered sidewalks as over the sidewalk near Vogue Photographic and that did not succeed.
The best effort to date was to clean up and revitalize the old buildings, removing aluminum siding, along with fixing up the old designs which worked well for a number of years but it is due for much needed upgrade and clean-up.
There was also an attempt to have uniform advertising signage on businesses but that too has gone to the wayside with a variety of signage. Then there was even a colour code for the downtown core but with the mural design on Reo’s, and the Boomtown mural, that as well has had little success.
Not to mention all the sidewalk folding advertising signs all over the walkways with little consistency, some with legal city permits and some not.
There is also a vast inconsistency with sidewalk patios of every type of design placed beside and on sidewalks.
Therefore, it seems to me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense in hiring a consultant to do a downtown core lighting plan. I believe that it is better for the long term to work with in-house staff wherever possible or at least hire locally.
There was also a concern about maintenance, but the new LED lights and wiring seems to last a long time with minimum maintenance required.
The volunteer committee Xmas Elves have worked many hours to date and it looks as if they have done a great job with the assistance of city work crews to put up the lights and with help from the Rotary Club members to remove some of the lights. Nothing in the city has much of a uniform design so why should we use taxpayer money for consultants?
Most art is unusual with varied colour and design, so why should it be any different with downtown core Christmas lights?
The money for a consultant could be used to put up more lights of which most people over the holidays were very pleased to see around and over the streets.
Sometimes it is better to let things take their course as long as it works well, requires minimal maintenance and is safe.
So hopefully this lighting can be resolved over the summer with a minimum of fuss and everyone enjoys the rest of the summer months, keeping cool.
— Nelson city councilor Robin Cherbo shares this space with his fellow council members.